Vandals topple Holocaust monument in Kaunas

A monument to Holocaust victims was found toppled in Kaunas on Tuesday, the police have reported. The local Jewish community does not believe it was a hate crime.

The police have launched an investigation into the destruction or damage to property.

Gercas Žakas, the chairman of Kaunas Jewish community said he did not believe it was a crime directed against Jews, but added it was still hurtful.

“You react negatively, some scoundrels do appear from time to time. I think it might not be necessarily targeted against the Jews. Perhaps it was a gathering of young people, some hooligans… We should be happy that the monument was just toppled and not broken,” he told reporters on Wednesday, noting that no anti-Semitic or otherwise hateful writings were left on the monument.

Žakas also praised the response of the local authorities of Kaunas. In particular, he said, the local authority itself called the police and reassured the Jewish community that it would put the monument back at its own expense.

“Overall, I can say that we, the Jewish community, do not feel any hostility targeted against us,” he added.

The monument located in the Kaunas district of Petrašiūnai has been erected to commemorate some 150 Jews murdered at that site during World War Two.

The precise damage to the monument on Energetikų Street has yet to be estimated.


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